The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority almost made one of the worst decisions in environmental history. Talks on granting permits for the creation of a coal port terminal at Abbot Point (25km north of Bowen, Queensland), along with permission to dump dredge into parts of the Great Barrier Reef, have been postponed until January 31st.

The fact that GBRMPA was — and maybe still is — so close to potentially agreeing to this is frightening; if the Great Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and natural wonder of the world, can be neglected in this way, is any region safe?

These 16 photos from Matador editor-at-large Scott Sporleder show exactly what’s at stake.

Orange fish by coral

Fish on blue watery background

Person swimming among coral formations

Person swimming among coral formations

Rainbow over water

Colorful fish collage

Colorful coral

Fish among coral

Coral features

Coral image

Image of coral

Fish swimming near coral

Diver near fish

Underwater light and coral

Coral colors

Fish collage

If these permits go through, this video may become an artifact within a changed future.

Read more on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef
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